The running tandem of a senior and a sophomore, as well as stout defensive performance helped the Lonoke Jackrabbits to a 41-14 win over the Beebe Badgers on Friday night at James B. Abraham Stadium.
Lonoke senior quarterback Kody Smith had 202 yards and two touchdowns on 18 carries and sophomore running back Josh Coleman had 163 yards and four touchdowns on 18 carries as the Jackrabbits finished with 466 yards rushing in the win.
Lonoke’s defense held the Badgers in check after they scored 38 points against Greenbrier in Week 1.
“The kids came out and executed,” Lonoke coach Doug Bost said. “We held them to 14 and one of those was because their drive started at the 10. I’m real proud of our defense.”
Lonoke had several takeaways, including two interceptions by Trey Bevis, one of which came early in the second half when Beebe was trying to stay in the game. Another turnover happened when the Badgers turned the ball over inside the Lonoke 5 when they were trailing 7-0. Bevis recovered the ball at the Lonoke 4. From there, the Jackrabbits drove 96 yards 17 plays to take a 14-0 lead.
“They stepped up,” Bost said. “We knew 27 (Trip Smith) was good. He had 280 yards and four touchdowns last week. We practiced all week that we had to stop them. Our kids bowed up on them. We were real proud of them.”
Smith finished with 79 yards rushing and two touchdowns on 20 carries against Lonoke.
For the game, Beebe had 263 yards in total offense.
Lonoke took a 7-0 lead on the first possession of the game. Coleman scored on a 13-yard run with 10:14 left. Jose Garcia kicked the extra point.
After Beebe’s first turnover, Lonoke took a 14-0 lead on a 3-yard run by Kody Smith with 8:02 left in the second quarter. Garcia kicked the extra point.
Lonoke scored two more touchdowns in the first half to lead 27-0. Coleman scored on a 5-yard run with 4:55 left. He also scored on an 11-yard run with 1:19 left.
Beebe’s lone score of the half came after the ensuing kickoff was returned 68 yards to the Lonoke 12. Four plays later, Trip Smith scored on a 1-yard run with 13.6 seconds left in the first half. Tyler Jones added the extra point.
Beebe got the ball to start the second half but the possession ended when Bevis intercepted quarterback Aaron Nunez’s pass and returned it to the Beebe 19.
Four plays later, Coleman scored his fourth touchdown of the game on an 8-yard run with 6:10 left. Garcia added the extra point to make the score 34-7.
Beebe’s final points came late in the third quarter on a 1-yard run by Trip Smith, making the score 34-14.
Lonoke’s final points came on a 1-yard run by Kody Smith with 11:17 left in the game.
Bost said Coleman ran the ball well against the Badgers.
“We had a couple of plays that were working and we just kept giving it to him,” he said. “He ran really hard for us.”
Bost said his quarterback made good decisions during the win.
“We have five or six run plays that are run-reads,” he said. “It’s like I told Josh (Coleman) today … Kody got it 22 times last week and you got it nine. It might be reversed. It just depends upon the read.
“[Smith] has worked on that from Day 1. He can make us dangerous when he can read when to give it or when to keep it.”
Bost said Smith’s toughness is big for his team.
“You don’t see many quarterbacks with that mentality,” he said of Smith liking to run over defenders. “He was a two-year starter at safety for us. He’s looking to hit somebody. It gets him into the game.”
Smith was 8 of 11 passing for 91 yards. Blake Mack caught all eight passes from Smith. Mack also rushed for 46 yards on six carries.
Chandler Elmore led Lonoke’s defense with 13 tackles. Brent Shelton and Dylan Walker had seven tackles each. In addition to his two interceptions, Bevis had six tackles. Cedric Cooney had five. Dylan Goforth and Trevor Ransom had four tackles each.
Lonoke will host Little Rock McClellan on Friday night at James B. Abraham Stadium. Game time is 7 p.m.